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Matthew McNulty gives us the scoop on The Paradise season 2

2014-06-04 16:30
Johannesburg - Set amidst the Victorian splendour of Britain’s first department store, The Paradise is the enchanting rags-to-riches story of a young girl who falls in love with the intoxicating charms of the modern world.

The second series reopens the doors to The Paradise a year after the dramatic events that saw Moray declare his love for Denise and lose The Paradise after breaking off his engagement to Katherine Glendenning. But the spurned Katherine has since married Tom Weston – a mysterious, brooding ex-military man with a troubled history. Although she seems to be starting her life anew, her passion for Moray threatens to draw her back into a love triangle, competing with Denise.

Meanwhile, Moray and Denise, still at the forefront of fashion and innovation, are plotting to regain The Paradise from Katherine and her husband – whatever it takes.

In this exclusive interview Matthew McNulty who plays Dudley dishes on what to expect from his character in the new season.

How does Dudley feel about Moray’s actions at the end of series one?
Dudley just wants to do the right thing and Moray marrying Katherine would have been that, but he has this blind loyalty to Moray because they have a lasting friendship. He knows that Moray is in love with Denise and he understands that that is what Moray had to do but he’s left with the mess and more responsibility.

There’s been a year since series one ended and series two begins. What has happened to Dudley in that time?
Moray’s left for Paris and Dudley is running The Paradise for the Glendennings and it’s not really going too well as the success of The Paradise is down to Moray’s charisma and Dudley doesn’t have that. The Paradise is on its last legs and Dudley has a plan to bring it back to life a bit but it doesn’t quite go to plan, but then Moray returns.

How does Dudley feel about his new role?
He has no choice but to carry on. He’s lost his friend and he’s lost the face of The Paradise so he’s a bit put upon. He has to deal with the fall-out of what has happened at the end of the first series. He’s under pressure at the start of series two. But he’s a grafter so he just has to get on with it. He’s running the store but he doesn’t really have the personality to do it.

Is he pleased to have Moray back?
Definitely, it’s a massive relief for him, more than anything because he’s got his best friend back. At the same time he’s cautious with it because he knows it’s strange for the Glendennings to have asked Moray back so, as always, he’s cautious. That’s the crux of what Dudley is about. He is protective about Moray and what might happen to him but at the same time he wants things to be right and wants them to be done properly so he tries to win the Glendennings over.

How does Dudley feel about Jonas reappearing?
At first he’s angered by it, he thinks there’s some underhand business. Jonas left under a cloud of murder, so he doesn’t want to bring that back. Things are bad enough now that the Weston’s are in control and they seem to have something on Moray. When Jonas appears it’s 10 times worse, it makes the whole situation all the more dangerous. He doesn’t want him there. Eventually he does see the truer side of Jonas and they are on the same side, but that changes throughout the series.

Tell us about Dudley’s romantic situation in series two. Does he have a bit of a flirtation?
Yes, it was really fun to play. Dudley’s very straight-laced and a man of integrity, so when Clemence arrives, this vibrant, adventurous woman from Paris, it rocks his world. Dudley’s integrity has never been in question until he falls for this Parisian beauty. Everything about him and his morals are put in to question because he lets himself go somewhere he shouldn’t. He lets himself get seduced and get his fingers sucked! It was good fun to play because it’s a side of Dudley that you wouldn’t expect to see and when I read it I knew it would be quite exciting to play with him. You normally know what to expect with him so when that came along it was a bit of a surprise. I enjoyed it.

What has the viewers’ reaction to Dudley been? Has it been what you expected?  
In my experience they all loved Dudley. You can’t really dislike Dudley; I think people have taken him to their hearts. A lot of older people love Dudley!

Was the reaction to The Paradise Series 1 what you had hoped?
From seeing the scale of it you did feel that it would be successful and judging from the viewing figures and the people you meet on the street, nobody has said they disliked it. It’s pleasing.

How has it felt to be back playing Dudley?
It’s easier because you know the role and this time I feel a lot freer, because I can quickly tap into him. In the episode when Dudley is seduced it was a nice direction to go in and you see a different side of him. I know him a bit better now.

How did it feel to be reunited with the cast and crew and to have the new cast members join?
It’s good fun, it’s a fun job and we get on well. Emun is good at making me laugh and with Ben coming in as well now, I’m sure that they both deliberately try and make me laugh because I’m not very good at not laughing in certain situations.  Everyone’s got a great chemistry and the new cast have just slotted right in.

Watch the trailer here:

Catch The Paradise Seaon 2 every Sunday at 21:00 on BBC Entertainment channel 120 DStv

(Photo: BBC)
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